Fish + Soup = Unhungry brother

So what am I supposed to tell my brother on this particular night when my brother asks
“What’s for dinner?” This question, in my house, means one thing and one thing only. Will I be hungry or unhungry tonight?  My brother’s two largest dislikes are fish and soup. So what do I say? Nothing. At all. Never ever will I tell him. Ever!


As I started to cook more often about three years ago, I’ve experienced what my mother called “Dissing Momma’s Food Syndrome.” Most people who cook as often as I do will understand. Your kids (or sisters and brothers for me) won’t eat your food or decide not to because they don’t like it and you’re so annoyed you want to do anything to make them eat it………so badly.

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Ironically, I found this soup ‘almost good’. This soup is a strained soup, so really its just broth with noodles.

P.S I forgot to put the noodles in my soup. Oops!

Strained Fish Soup

But what fish do you choose? So many to choose from in Julia Child’s list of possibilities…( horror movie music)…..below is a list of the fish I used!

My chosen fish:

  1. Halibut fillets
  2. Four mussels
  3. A whole Tilapia


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Here are a couple suggestions Julia Child gave:

  1. Fresh Water trout
  2. Snapper
  3. Halibut
  4. Lemon Sole
  5. Clams
  6. Mussels
  7. Lobster
  8. Sea bass
  9. Cod
  10. Flounder
  11. Sea eel……And so many more.

To prepare tilapia: (Mine was gutted). Start at the gill and cut down the middle until you hit bone.

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Then cut across the top.

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And then finish taking off the fillet and repeat on the other side.

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To prepare mussels: Wash them and put the mussels into a water bath of salt and oats or flour (helps take off sand) and then let soak for two hours.



(Then check if any of the mussels are open, and throw them away, because they could make you sick.) I lost four of mine by reading up on that. To open, put in a pan on high heat with a little bit of water. Plop the mussels in and wait a couple minutes. If they don’t open that way, use a knife.

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To start the soup: get a big soup pot on a burner with 1/2 cup olive oil and add 1 1/2 cup minced onions and cook for five minutes till tender, but not browned.

Then stir in four mashed garlic cloves, one pound red tomatoes diced (or 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes) and cook for five more minutes.

After your kitchen smells amazing, you must add the rest of the ingredients: 2 1/2 quarts water, six parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp thyme or basil, 1/8 tsp fennel, two big pinches saffron (I don’t have available), two inch piece of dried orange peel, 1/8 tsp black pepper, one TBS salt and three to four pounds lean fish, fish heads, fish bones, trimmings, shellfish remains or frozen fish in a the pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate boil, uncovered.

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After your soup is cooked it looks pretty gross-ishthen you must strain it. So get a sieve and strain it through.  I took out all the tilapia pieces and mussels and threw them away, but kept the halibut and extra tomato stuff. (I added parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to the halibut and called it fish taco mixture, and used the cooked tomato mixture for a salsa).

Then I put it back on the stove and added 1/2 to 2/3 cups spaghetti and cooked till tender for 10 to 12 minutes.

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Serve this soup with Parmesan and Rouille.

How do you make rouille you ask? Its simple!


Put in a pot of boiling water 1/3 of a red pepper, a small chille, 1 medium potato and cook till tender. Then put into a food processer and whip up with four mashed garlic cloves, tsp of basil and salt and pepper. Then slowly drip in four to six TBS olive oil. Voila your done. Just before serving put two to three TBS of soup into Rouille and mix up. Then put on table in bowl.

Finally, serve this soup with a few sticks of French Bread (found on my last blog)!

Happy Cooking!



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